In this new post, I explore 5 simple actions you can take to bring more balance and calmness in our lives.
- Awareness and Acceptance
Before you can make any long-lasting positive change to your life, you need to acknowledge where you are, how you feel about your current situation, and accept it. Stop giving yourself a hard time about how you should have taken action a long time ago. Stop feeling guilty about having reached the tipping point. Stop judging yourself. This is it. You are where you are; you are taking action now, and this is what matters. Consider these areas of your life: your job, your love life, your family, your social life, your health, your wellbeing, and your finances. Rate your level of satisfaction on a scale from 1 to 10 (1 being unsatisfied, 10 being extremely satisfied) against each area. Take 5 minutes to do this exercise and reflect for a moment. Where are you feeling an imbalance? What areas need more attention? Acknowledging where you are is a crucial step in the process of rebalancing your personal and professional lives and being a happier and calmer person all around.
- Envision a happier calmer future self
Close your eyes for a few minutes and visualise a future version of yourself feeling in harmony on a personal and professional level, happier and serene. Allow yourself to see this image in detail: see how you interact with others, how you appear in the world, how you speak, how you move and very importantly how you feel, your emotions and physical sensations. Ask yourself: what actions have I implemented to reach this positive place? What have I prioritised in my life? What brings me joy? Visualising how you want to be will bring you closer to reaching your goal. The fundamental action to take following this exercise is to make changes to your current life that bring you closer to your future self. They do not have to be big changes rather little tweaks you can make to your everyday life so you can gradually become that future version of yourself in actual reality. Think of a change you can make to an area of your life in which you have a low satisfaction score. For example: Health and Wellbeing area: once a week, make an appointment with yourself to do one activity that will get your body moving and improve your health (yoga, walk, swimming, martial arts etc). Do more of what’s good for you, more of what brings you joy.
- Let time be your friend, not your enemy
Time can be a big stressor in our lives. Feeling like there is never enough time to get it all done (and done well). There is no time for rest and there is always something to get done. Always worrying about what comes next, what the future holds, the mind races around with to do lists, preventing us from sleeping well. Does any of this sound familiar? Time does not have to be your enemy, it can also work in your favour if you learn to organise yourself and prioritise. Do not add up all the actions you have to do today as you will end up with a huge list which will only create dread and stress. Establish an action plan for the week and spread the tasks across the week so they do not feel as overwhelming. Ditch the activities that take time and do not contribute to your wellbeing (watching certain programmes on TV, checking in on social media etc). As you plan your week, make sure there is always a pleasurable activity in any one day, for example: take the time to play with your children for half an hour, take a bath with essential oils or call a very good friend.
- Give yourself a break
Do you feel guilty about taking a break and relaxing, thinking that there must be something more useful to do with your time? Taking time to unwind and relax is essential to keep you sane, healthy, focused and full of energy. You deserve a break. Why feel guilty when taking a break if no negative thought even crosses your mind when you skip a meal or work late? Sleep and rest are physiological needs that are necessary to keep us balanced on a physical, mental and emotional level. Prescribe yourself 10 minutes a day (minimum) to switch off and relax. When I say relax, I do not mean switching on the TV or reaching for the glass of wine. I mean practicing a Sophrology exercise, progressive muscle relaxation or mindfulness meditation for example. Try this. Close your eyes and consciously relax all the parts of your body, from head to toe. Let go of the unnecessary tension in your muscles. Relax a bit more on each outbreath. Become aware of your breathing and take some time simply to focus on the air coming in and out, the movement of your chest or abdomen. Be present with your breathing.
- Commit to changing
You are now aware that some things need changing so you can feel more balanced, positive and calm. Ask yourself: how committed am I to get to a happier place? 70%? 95%? That is not enough. You need to be in it 100%. Do not postpone your wellbeing to a later date. Act now! As I said, the key is in making small and realistic changes to your current lifestyle. I guarantee you that if you stick to your guns and make one small change a week, not only you will feel more empowered but also more complete and in harmony with your values.
Please share your thoughts with me in the comments below. What are you currently doing to bring more balance and calmness into your life?